Joseph Parker's promoter: Eddie Hearn's unification offer an 'insult'

Joseph Parker called Anthony Joshua 'average' and 'robotic' after his win over Takam. Nick Potts/AP

Joseph Parker's promoter David Higgins has branded Eddie Hearn's offer for Parker to fight Anthony Joshua as an "insult" while urging him to "stop playing games".

WBO heavyweight champion Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) out-pointed mandatory challenger Hughie Fury in Manchester in September to retain his world title and is now looking to unify the division.

Parker's preferred opponent is IBF and WBA champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) who stopped tough challenger Carlos Takam at the Principality Stadium on Oct. 28 by 10th round stoppage.

After the fight Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, said he sees New Zealander Parker as a potential next opponent as well but Higgins has responded to his "disrespectful" offer.

"I think Eddie is offering [Parker] 20 percent [of the purse] to kill the fight because he's worried his golden goose might get beaten," Higgins told ESPN. "I think he's offering that on purpose so he can go in another direction. He knows that we won't take 20 percent. It's an insult.

"I'll pay Joshua respect. He deserves a bit more [than an even 50-50 split] as it's his home country but we've come from the bottom of the world and earned a genuine world title.

"We'll unify tomorrow, we just want a fair go but 20 percent is an insult just because we're from New Zealand, a small country. Eddie, Mr.20 percent, is going to kill a unification with his 20 percent.

"I'm not saying a 50-50 split as we think Joshua deserves a bit more, but it certainly should be a more balanced ratio like that. We reached out to Hearn and have had no response.

"The ball is in Eddie Hearn's court. If he's genuine about wanting to unify, stop being greedy.

"If it's in summer, it should go in a big stadium like Wembley and it will sell it out. If he wants to do it soon, it needs to be in a stadium like Cardiff with a roof on it.

"It's a very big fight. You've got two unbeaten hungry heavyweights who have both earned their titles unifying. We want to unify. Give us a fair deal and you're on, Joshua and Hearn. Stop playing games. We are ready to fight. Make a fair offer and we're on."

Higgins believes Parker's ability up close would help him conquer Joshua and has stated the fight is an even match-up in terms of sporting ability.

"If you study Parker's fights, he's knocked people out on the inside with short hooks and uppercuts. It could go either way. Joseph's quite good on the inside, he's fast and got a good chin. He's never gone down.

"I think both guys come forward, it could probably go either way. He [Parker] is the sort of guy who if he did go down, he'd get up. Joshua and Hearn know that and they are worried.

"It's a myth, this whole Joshua thing. He is nowhere near Lennox Lewis yet. He has a lot of proving to do. They are worried that if they jump in with Joseph Parker the bubble will be burst so they are offering 20 percent to kill the deal.

"Wilder is probably better than Joshua and that [potential other unification] fight has a bit less money in it. We don't shy away from any fight but we respect Joshua. We just think Eddie Hearn's offer is disrespectful."

Higgins also wasn't too impressed by Joshua's win over Takam, a fighter Parker beat by unanimous decision back in May 2016.

"We thought he looked sluggish and predictable," Higgins said of Joshua's performance. "We expected better. We'd fight him tomorrow.

"The reality is Joseph has never once been off his feet in his career, in sparring, as an amateur or as a pro. We back our man. If they're trading, we reckon Joe has got the better chin and it's a 50/50 fight. We'd take it immediately."